How to Kill Bugs in a Lawn


Lawn care requires more steps that just mowing the lawn. Some lawns have become overrun with harmful insects that can damage the lawn and stunt growth. Insects can be controlled with many preventative methods such as keeping the lawn short, removing thatch and fertilizing the lawn at least once a year. However, if the lawn has been neglected, some additional control of the insects may be necessary. According to American, the easiest way to control insects is to apply insecticide in the early spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Chemical, biological or botanical insecticide
  • Hand-operated spray pump
  • Work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Determine what kind of insecticide you want to use on the lawn. According to All About, chemical insecticides will kill all bugs, both good and bad. Biological insecticides are usually targeted at specific bugs. Botanical insecticides are plant based and will often kill both good and bad bugs at the same time, but they will not leave harmful residue on the grass.

  • Mix the insecticide according to the package directions inside the garden sprayer. Most insecticides are applied full strength or at half strength.

  • Pump the sprayer several times to build up pressure.

  • Spray the insecticide over the lawn on a sunny day in the early spring. It is best to apply insecticides before many insects hatch for the spring. Try to apply the solution about two weeks before plants in the lawn start to sprout.

  • Spray the solution in a steady stream over the entire lawn. Pay special attention to known problem areas, such as ant beds and areas where you have noticed swarms of insects before.

  • Allow the insecticide to sit for one to two days before watering the grass. Rain is not a problem, but you should not water the lawn by hand. This gives the insecticides time to absorb into the ground and kill the insects.

  • Apply spot insect killers targeted toward specific insects during the remainder of the growing season. Spray insect nests or apply granular insecticide to ant beds or nests.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wash hands thoroughly after applying insecticide to the lawn. Do not allow children or pets in the yard for about one week after chemical insecticide application.
  • Consult with a professional lawn care specialist to find the best insecticide for your lawn if you cannot decide which type to purchase. Some specialists may recommend insecticidal soaps instead of sprays.

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  • Photo Credit grass image by Thomas Quinlan from
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